It appears that the renewed NFL labor talks are now moving faster than almost anybody expected.
According to ESPN's Chris Mortenson, a new deal between the players and NFL owners is finally beginning to take shape. Under the terms of this agreement, players would receive 48% of all revenue, and teams would obliged to spend "close to 100 percent of the salary cap" according to Mortenson's report.
However, perhaps the most important detail for the Falcons is that any player with at least four year's experience would be considered an unrestricted free agent. This means Vikings DE Ray Edwards, who was given a first round tender by Minnesota before the lockout, would now be free to sign with another team once free agency hits.
The Atlanta Falcons are looking to add DE Ray Edwards through free agency once anybody can figure out what free agency is, according to Len Pasquarelli. His availability will depend on what sort of collective bargaining agreement can be struck between the NFL and NFLPA.
The Minnesota Vikings veteran has 29.5 career sacks in five seasons, producing five or more in four straight and eight or more in two straight. He's worked opposite Jared Allen for the past three years and alongside perhaps the NFL's best defensive tackle combination.
It's apparent the Falcons want to add a free agent defensive presence -- Friday at Julio Jones' introductory press conference, GM Thomas Dimitroff said, "We kicked off this offseason talking about how incredibly important it was for us to add an explosive, play-making element to this team. We feel, on the offense, we have done that." Specifying "on offense" backs up the common thinking that the team will look to add an impact defender through a non-draft avenue.
While Kroy Biermann was productive -- if you look beyond just sacks -- in 2010, bookend John Abraham provided the bulk of the team's pass rush. The Falcons love to rotate defensive tackles, so adding Edwards and using Biermann to give the two starters plenty of rest could be the move.
The team could still look to draft a pass rusher, as plenty of good ones still remain heading into Saturday's final day. Sam Acho, for instance.